TURN BACK THE CLOCK
DIR-ALAN CROSLAND JR
A dinosaur with fins on its head chases a man with reddish hair onto a beach and into the water. The man has something in his shirt, something that look like rocks or eggs (?). He uses a balloon made out of some material to breath under the water as he escapes the beast by going under.
Carol Denning develops pictures (it's a fact) in Baha, California. Crane knocks on her sliding glass door. Nelson wanted Crane to get her. She jokes, "I'm Batgirl." No, just kidding. She jokes, "So the Admiral's admitted I'm the best underwater photographer." Crane is serious---an ice breaker found Jason Kemp and he was flown to the US. He had been lost for nine months in the Antarctic with her father and two others Bob Harrad and Bill Younger (who were both from Nelson's Institute). The Admiral has Carol flown to Washington DC's Naval Hospital (named Avestha?). Nelson, Carol, and a doctor (played by Robert Patten) talk to Jason, who doesn't recall a thing. Jason asks her if she is still his girl. Nelson is in full dress uniform. Carol was on the deck of the ice breaker when the expedition left and the bell went down and was lost. Jason was the last one in. Jason and Dr. Denning were from the Denning Institute which was cooperating with the Nelson Institute on the mission. The cable on their bell broke, ice closed in. Doctor tells Nelson about a tape Jason made on the plane--delirious--something about a tropical oasis and seeing monsters. Jason says, "How about that honey, a tropical oasis in the middle of the Antarctic." Nelson wants to hear it. Jason says, "Go ahead, Admiral, have a laugh on me." Nelson and the Doctor do. The Doctor tells Nelson, "I am careful to regard something as impossible as this as real. As a scientist, you should be as careful as I am." He wonders if this is just a hoax or hallucination. Nelson responds with, "As a scientist I am careful about the word impossible." There are other stories proven about areas of no ice in the Antarctic, where it is 50 degrees; the hot springs in Iceland (an incredible fact) and animal tissue found preserved in the ice, just as it was when the animal died. Nelson calls Ernst Ziegler of the Institute of Science Academy. Ziegler is a zoologist and paleontologist and teaches paleontology.
The found balloon Jason had is the esophagus of an ithyosaurus (which in reality is a marine reptile with a long snout, paddle shaped limbs, and a tall tail fin--it was born and lived and died in the sea). The picture Ziegler points to is a finned (all of the Dimetrodons were) Dimetrodon (early to middle Permian--270 to 260 million years ago) and was a dominant predator of its time but could sleep weeks sleeping off a meal, killing rarely. Ziegler points out whole, fully furred mastodons were found alive in ice in present day times...but dead. His atomic clock testing has found this dino creature to have been alive about one year ago! "Harrimin it was alive one year ago."
Seaview is being hosed down (good, finally). A Nelson Institute of Marine Research (NIMR clearly marked on the car side) pulls up. Jason and Carol come out with Nelson. Crane tells the crewman to take Carol's luggage to his cabin (hey, there, Lee!) since she will take it while he will sleep in the crew's quarters. Jason tells Crane, "Thanks for taking care of my girl while I was away." After he moves off, Chip rolls his eyes, "Oh brother--my girl." Crane snaps at him, "Mister Morton, prepare to get underway!" After Crane walks away, Chip asks no one, "What I say?" Seaview passes huge underwater peaks. 5.3 and they are shipping water. Men turn a valve to stop water. MGA on the inertial guidance navigator. Jason agrees with Crane--he can't take risks with the sub and the crew--he suggests they pull into the Falklands for repairs. Nelson developed the NGA (or is MGA?). He fixes it and they proceed. Crane gives Nelson coffee; they put the correction in the log. It is 59 degrees, at 100 fathoms it is 70. There was only one other case of this ever happening in these waters. Nelson asks Jason, who is recalling before the dive, "I thought you lost your memory." The diving bell can take the pressure below 4000. Crane wears the same clothes David Hedison wore in Irwin Allen's THE LOST WORLD in 1960. Nelson wears what Claude Rains wore (no not INVISIBLE MAN clothes) in the same movie. Carol will photograph every 50 feet; Lee will handle communications with Seaview; the bell is launched down. They go to 3002. Curley is at the winch with a sailor with a sailor's hat on, doing the bell wire by ---by hand--? It can't be. Jason is nervous; he begins to recall the diving bell accident that left him and the other three stranded. They reach 4000 feet and a tidal current begins blowing the bell. The bubbles get worse. The bell cable snaps and those inside shake all over it. It gets washed into a rock wall which has a hole in it. The bell hits into the hole and gets to float upward to a beach. Crane and Nelson jump out and help Carol out. Nelson carries her to the beach; Jason has a rifle, Crane gets a gun from the bell. They collapse on the beach. A zoom up and out shows us the whole wild jungle set--then the camera gets closer and closer to a giant three toed reptilian footprint nearby.
Crane checks his rifle. The area is heated by volcanic activity and the bell was swept into a thermal current caused by the heated water pouring into the Antarctic ocean. Carol finds it an incredible place. Nelson spots flora (trees and plants) that seem to be from the Mesozoic Era. They discuss this with Jason and ask about what he can recall now. Carol feels it is so peaceful here and warm. She will soon change her opinion as she wanders off and sees a three toed footprint. Crane and she go one way; Nelson and Jason another--circling the water hole. Carol photographs the footprint (later she will make a print of the print--get it?). Crane says, "This is the weirdest vegetation." A dinosaur with fins on its head comes near Carol. Carol can only say, "Lee. Lee. Lee!" Lee shoots the rifle at it, grab Carol, and run around a rock. Carol screams as it chases them through the thick jungle. It makes a tree fall. Crane and Carol, tiny figures to it, are chased out of the jungle into a wide open rocky area. Crane fires his rifle at its mouth again. Carol falls and Crane pulls her away. They hide at a rock in this LOST WORLD. Another dino, an alligator like one, arrives and the pair of monsters fight, biting each other. Carol keeps screaming. The tail of one of the monsters passes over the rock they are hiding behind. The music is excellent and sounds like a machine gun firing...it is used to good extent in other episodes and especially in spy stories. The dinos are not identified but they look like lizards that are alive today, optically enlarged (as in movies from the 1940s, 50s and even 60s--more on this in TERROR ON DINOSAUR ISLAND). Only a Psittacosaurus looked like the lizards of today but these were very small (six feet) compared to what we see here and to what most dinos should look like. The lizards roll off a cliff which is somewhere near Crane and Carol. By watching THE LOST WORLD, Irwin's version, we can tell the cliff is just beneath the rock they are hiding behind. It also appears that the small lizards...which are optically enlarged for this episode's fight scene...were dropped to film their cliff falling death scene. The monsters fall to the bottom. Nelson and Jason arrive. Crane says, "I can't believe what I saw." Nelson calls this another WORLD (he's right, you know). They found a camp site. Carol tells Jason she is all right and waves him off. They move through a dense jungle on the other side. Crane thinks he saw something human moving in the growth. Nelson lets him go after the person he saw. Crane calls to a native girl he spots--Crane looks younger somehow (dino atmosphere must agree with him or maybe...uhmmm, it's footage from Allen's THE LOST WORLD--from 1960). This four year younger Crane chases the girl past vines. The jungle music used here is very well done. The girl runs past a cave where white webs fill most of the interior and exterior. Crane follows in a tunnel of webs. A giant tarantula comes down from the ceiling at the girl. She screams and slips past it. Crane almost runs right into it--he shoots it down and goes out of the web area. He gets the girl (who is played by the same girl from THE LOST WORLD). Crane tells the twisting girl, "Nice company you keep. Now, let's meet some of my friends." Carol drinks some running water; Jason moves off to dig something up; Nelson sees the girl Crane brings back. He says she might be South American by the looks of her high cheek bones--Amerindian perhaps, descendants of a primitive tribe who came here centuries ago by a storm perhaps. Carol asks about Dr. Denning. The girl starts to talk, then recognizes Jason and moves to him. He tries to shoot her but Nelson grabs her down and saves her life. Crane jumps Jason and they fight but a rain of spears stop this. Natives are on the ridge above them (LOST WORLD stock again). Four natives take them and put them into a wood barred cell built into the rock. Nelson looks at the larger crowd of natives (more stock) and realizes it is some sort of sacrificial altar they are preparing (he should know--remember KINGS OF THE SUN?). Jason reveals it is a ceremony to the fire god and at high noon no the longest day of the year they will be sacrificed. That's today. In one half hour they will die. Nelson figures it was Jason who tampered with the navigator--Jason tampered with the gyros. Nelson grabs Jason by the collar, "You could have killed us all!" Jason says he didn't want anyone dead but he was afraid of what the native girl would tell them about Denning. Nelson wonders what that means. A man, Denning, ragged and tired, comes out from behind a boulder in the far reaches of the cave (can't they get out that way? No.). Denning tells them not to believe or trust Jason. He used the girl to escape--she fell in love with him (it is not clear if the girl who fell for Jason was the same native girl that Lee Crane captured--but one can assume it is). He used the girl to get away but to distract the other natives, he lead Harrod and Younger into a trap--a trap which killed them. When Jason cries and yells he didn't know they would be killed, Denning says, "He knew they'd be killed." Crane figures it was why Jason was stalling them to rescue Denning...he knew Denning would tell the truth. He wanted Denning to die before they could find him--at noon today. The girl brings them food. Krassy nogga is one of the words she uses. Jason uses sign language to her. She wants to open the door but the huge muscular guard throws her back. Nelson takes off his shoe (GET SMART! time--what is he, Maxwell Smart--but remember this was a time when there was no Max Smart yet!! but he was coming soon!). From his shoe, Nelson takes out a paralyzing drug and a blow gun. It can immobilize the guard for 30 seconds---they have to get the girl to open the door in that time. The guard uses his spear to poke at an irritating Crane and Jason who want to draw him closer. Nelson uses the dart on him and he falls. Nelson tells Lee to get back away from the door as Jason tries to get the girl to open the door. She's too afraid. Nelson looks at his watch, "15 seconds..almost too late." She finally does it--just as the guard awakens. Crane punches the native down and they all run out toward the cave by the big water. About the other way, the girl and Jason warn about a fire monster. A safer way would be to go past the big pool. Crane says, "I vote for the pool." Nelson does too but they see a large horde of natives running at them from the pool area. Nelson says, "The pool's been outvoted." They all run toward the other way...and the fire monster.
They run up rocks along a cliff side into an interior cavern. They run down over bones of a dinosaur, then up again over a lava pit. They move along a ridge over the boiling red liquid. Nelson has a torch and waves it to make four or five chasing natives fall off the ridge. Everyone leaves Nelson on the ridge by himself! They go out another hole. More natives give chase over the dino bones but the torch attack scared them. The girl parts ways with the group after pointing the way out. The fire thing rises up out of the water! Another lizard but this one is more effective (and was in the movie THE LOST WORLD, too). A dam is nearby to hold the lava back (made by the natives one can assume). Crane moves toward it to use a log to make the dam break and have the lava pour out and kill the creature. Crane climbs it but ducks from the dino's head. Jason attracts its attention, moving too close. It eats him. Crane pulls on the log and the lava comes over the rock wall dam. It hits the dino, Lee runs off, and the dino sinks into the water, boiling. Crane falls back to the others. The caves shake and they run out a tunnel. Nelson tells them when the lava hits the ice the whole mountain will explode. They go out to ice and fallen snow and darkness. Seaview surfaces nose first (VOYAGE movie stock). Chip and another man use binoculars. Curley does also, all 3 are in parkas. Chip sees the survivors and alerts Curley to get a landing party. Curley smiles, "Aye, aye, sir, aye, aye." Soon enough, the entire group is on the Conning Tower lookout and see the entire mountain explode. Denning feels sad that they haven't anything to show for what happened. Nelson feels he is wrong, "We have our lives." Chip calls--radar has reported ice fields ahead. They must leave.
NOTE: Del Monroe is credited as "PANEL MAN". Mark Slade, seen in SAMMY THE WAY OUT SEAL--the TV series not the Disney-Billy Mumy movie, plays "CREWMAN".
REVIEW: Well, it was THE LOST WORLD REVISITED wasn't it. The music is the most memorable thing about this and the fact that for once, the traitor was a wholesome American youth in the form of the ill fated Nick Adam's ill fated character Jason Kemp. It was also more interesting to figure out how the production team would fake matching up to the previous movie, THE LOST WORLD. Not too bad but not fantastically original either. For once, we get to see Lee visiting a girlfriend of his--played by the delightful Yvone Craig. I also never forgot, Jason saying to Crane, "Thanks for looking after my girl," then Chip asking Lee, "What's with the my girl?" Only to have Lee snap at him. Chip wonders what he said that was so bad. The diving bell sequence was also very well handled. Those bubble whirlpool sound effects can get on one's nerves after a while.
When one looks at TURN BACK THE CLOCK today, it is easy to criticize; however, it is like a mini movie and in some ways makes THE LOST WORLD footage better, better than the movie version. While the movie has color over TURN BACK THE CLOCK, the hour show moves faster even if it doesn't have the engaging interplay among a too large cast of THE LOST WORLD. Also, looking at almost any first season VOYAGE, these hour shows, TURN BACK THE CLOCK no exception, were like mini movies, better produced than some films made at the time. TURN also starts off with an interesting twist--nothing new (see THE LAND UNKNOWN--but new to THE LOST WORLD footage--that of it being in Antarctica. It also holds up well against many "classic-age" science fiction movies and plays remarkably like one of them (see IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, THE LOST CONTINENT-both versions, THE LAND UNKNOWN, THE GIANT BEHEMOTH, UNKNOWN WOMEN, etc.). The dino fight was newly filmed for THE LOST WORLD in 1960 but the technique of taking hapless lizards and making into dinos by sticking fins and horns on them goes back to ONE MILLION BC-the original. See the review of TERROR ON DINOSAUR ISLAND for more info. Nick Adams and Yvone Craig help the show quite a bit as does the very mystery science-like feel in the first act. The build up to the footage makes this one entertaining. Taken for what it is, TURN is pretty good. Next.